DEAR ABBY: I dislike the prevalence of plastic surgery and Botox in today's society. It sends young people a bad message on body image.
My friend "Liz's" stepmother loudly discussed her own daughter's nose job, chin implant and "boob job" with Liz's teenage daughter while at dinner in a public restaurant where everyone could hear.
My sister "Beth" told her son and daughter she'd gladly pay for new noses for them. They were offended because they are happy with their looks. (At least, they were until their mother denigrated them.)
Both of my sisters have had plastic surgery. They can afford it and that's their business. But they make it our business by publicly congratulating each other on how well they have "aged."
What do you think about this, Abby? Am I right? -- NATURAL WOMAN IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR NATURAL WOMAN: Plastic surgery has been a blessing to many people because it has lifted not only drooping flesh but sagging self-esteem. I see nothing wrong with someone getting a nose job if it will help the person feel more confident. Your sister's offer to pay for her children's rhinoplasty may have had more to do with her own insecurity than either of her children's.
Cosmetic surgery and Botox are facts of life in our society for those who can afford it. Botox is common for both men and women who want to lessen or avoid signs of aging. I think what's upsetting you is your sisters' dishonesty. When they publicly congratulate each other on how well they have aged, they're not only lying to whoever overhears them -- they're also lying to themselves.